A recent report on the mental health of young men (ages 16-25) in Australia, is attracting a lot of attention from mental health professionals, parents, politicians, teachers, and, of course, the guys. One of the study’s key discoveries was that a fifth of young men say that life isn’t worth living and one in 10 has contemplated suicide.
Clearly, something is alarmingly wrong with the mental health system in Australia—at least as it pertains to men and boys. And we feel that the situation in the U.S. is at least as bad.
There was an interesting piece of good news in the Australian report. Today’s boys and young men have an option that wasn’t available to their fathers: the Internet. And according to the report, young guys are far more willing to talk about their problems and look for help online than in person. In fact, 95% of those who do turn to technology say they’re satisfied with the solutions they’re finding.
But we can’t put the burden of solving this mental-health crisis on technology. It’s hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t have at least some connection to a 16-25-year old male, whether he’s our own child or that of a friend or relative, a student, or the guy who delivers the newspaper. And that means we all have a responsibility and an obligation to pay attention to what’s happening to boys and men and ensure that they get the help and support they need, whenever they need it.